Smoking with Hailey Sowden

Read the Story December 15, 2006

What led to this flash centering around the idea of “skinny”?

If I wanted to sound really intellegent I suppose I could say that the idea of “skinny” gets across the character’s physical inability to handle situations, and that “skinny” explains her mental inability to accept her father’s death. But, truthfully, I didn’t think that way. This story just kind of fell out of my head fully grown, and I only realized the whole metaphor-like-thing until after I wrote the story.

Your writing is remarkable for its charged phrasing and compression. Who or what influenced your writing? Has anyone served you well as a mentor for your writing?

Thanks! The one thing that I can clearly point out as something that has influenced my writing is the book Blackbird, by Jennifer Lauck. I really love the style it’s written in. Blackbird is perhaps the only book I’ve read in the past months, albeit I’ve read it four or five times.

What do your friends and family think of this amazing talent you possess?

My family, aside from my little brother (but he’s twelve so his opinion doesn’t count anyway), is very interested in my writing. It makes for an easy Father’s day gift when all my Dad asks for from me is a book of my stories, and quote, “The love and affection of his family.”

How important is writing to you? Looking into the future, where do you see yourself as a writer in five, ten, fifteen years?

Truthfully, I don’t really know. Writing is just something I do in my spare time, cough, eighth period biology. Hopefully in five, ten, fifteen years I won’t still be in 9th grade biology, so I really don’t know where my writing will take me.

The 2005 Edge Annual World Question ( asked a question that the BBC called “fantastically stimulating.” One year later, we ask you this same question: “What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?”

Oh no! I suppose this answer should be either clever or profound. I believe you’ve caught me at a bad time, I’ve just used up all my deep thoughts on an essay test on Siddhartha, which I have yet to read. So I will go the easy route and say the most common answer: I will never use geometry in REAL life.

About the Author:

Hailey Sowden is a high school freshman in Dallas, Texas. She lives with her mom, dad, brother, and dog. She enjoys playing both the piano and guitar, drawing and sketching, playing competetive tennis, and writing.

About the Artist:

René Magritte was a Belgian surrealist artist (21 November 1898 - 15 August 1967).